9 Family Connection

Power out? Here are food safety tips

With power out to tens of thousands in the area, the Florida Department of Health in Orange County offers these food safety tips:

Thaw foods in the refrigerator before cooking or serving

-- Keep cold foods at 41 degrees F or below

-- Cook foods for a minimum of 15 seconds as indicated below

-- Chicken and other poultry and stuffed meats - 165 degrees F

-- Ground beef and other ground meats - 155 degrees F

-- Pork, beef, eggs, and other meats - 145 degrees F

-- Once cooked, keep hot foods at 140 degrees F or above

-- Cool hot foods rapidly to 41 degrees F, or below, within 4 hours of serving

Handling foods

-- Do not touch ready-to-eat foods with bare hands

-- Use utensils to handle food, whenever possible

Should I keep it?

-- If possible, do not keep leftovers. When in doubt – throw it out!

Wash hands frequently with soap and running water

-- After using the bathroom

-- Before handling food

-- When switching between raw and cooked foods

-- After eating, drinking, or smoking

-- After changing a diaper

-- Whenever hands become contaminated

-- Between changing gloves

-- Make sure to keep soap and paper towels at all handwashing sinks

Wear gloves properly

-- Wash hands and put on new gloves before handling food

-- Never re-use or wash gloves

-- Change gloves once they become soiled or discolored

-- Change gloves when switching between raw and cooked foods

-- Change gloves whenever hands become contaminated

-- Always wash hands before changing into a new pair of gloves

-- Remove gloves before eating, drinking, smoking, or taking out the garbage

For more information, contact your county health department or visit www.floridahealth.gov or www.FloridaDisaster.org.